Europe's migrant crisis: What you need to know

By Jill Replogle

BRUSSELS, Belgium — Europe’s refugee and migrant crisis has escalated over the summer, leaving the continent divided over how to deal with a flood of people led by Syrians fleeing war in their homeland.

A record surge in numbers, and the opening up of new routes over the Balkans in addition to the Mediterranean sea route, have prompted the EU to call a special meeting on the issue in two weeks.

Here are the key questions and answers about the biggest crisis of its kind to face Europe since World War II:

Why is the surge happening now?  

The situation in Syria, the origin of the largest number of refugees, has worsened because of the rise of the Islamic State extremist group and continuing civil war, so more people are fleeing.

More people are coming directly to Europe instead of staying in refugee camps in neighbouring countries that are bursting at the seams, says Melissa Fleming, spokeswoman for the U.N. refugee agency.

But also the longer people spend in refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, the more likely they are to realize they cannot start a new life there and want to leave, especially with no sign of the four-year civil war … continue reading

Via:: Tico Times